(Aug 1, 2016 - Trenton)
Michael Sitko of Pinckney, Michigan, weighed a five bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 9 ounces, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament of 2016 on the Detroit River presented by Power-Pole. Sitko took home $6,463 for his win.
Sitko said he ran to Lake St. Clair and targeted isolated weed patches along a mid-lake stretch that he estimated at 200 yards long by 50 yards wide.
“I dragged minnow baits on a drop-shot rig and then I would snap tubes,” said Sitko, who earned his second win in FLW competition. “The water was rough so I stayed in one area throughout the day.”
Sitko said he used a Yamamoto Baits Shad Shape Worm on the drop-shot rig and a 4-inch green-pumpkin-colored Poor Boys Tube.
“The drop-shot was more of a search-type bait,” said Sitko. “I dragged it through the cover, and when I got hung up on weeds, I flipped the tube in there and snapped it a couple of times.”
The Michigan angler said he was able to wrangle in 15 to 20 keepers throughout his day.
“I put a 5-pounder in the boat at 11 a.m. on the tube,” said Sitko. “Once you find them on Lake St. Clair this time of year, you can work them a bit. That’s what I did out there.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Michael Sitko, Pinckney, Mich., five bass, 23-9, $4,463 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Todd Schmitz, Goshen, Ind., five bass, 21-0, $1,981
3rd: Jon Witt, Kalamazoo, Mich., five bass, 20-13, $1,322
4th: Mike Trombly, Belleville, Mich., five bass, 20-10, $1,460
5th: Scott Dobson, Clarkston, Mich., five bass, 20-7, $893
6th: Kyle Greene, Ortonville, Mich., five bass, 20-6, $727
7th: Matt Elkins, Spencerville, Ohio, five bass, 20-1, $660
8th: Steve Clapper, Lima, Ohio, five bass, 19-12, $594
9th: Derrick Soulliere, Belle River, Ontario, five bass, 19-11, $528
10th: Matthew Malmquist, White Lake, Mich., five bass, 18-12, $439
10th: Jared Rhode, Port Clinton, Ohio, five bass, 18-12, $439
Trombly caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 9 ounces – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $535.
Jason Kopczyk of Fenton, Michigan, weighed in five bass totaling 20 pounds, 11 ounces, Saturday to win the co-angler division and earn $2,248.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Jason Kopczyk, Fenton, Mich., five bass, 20-11, $2,248
2nd: Mark Kemp, Hilliard, Ohio, five bass, 20-3, $826
2nd: Brad Lyon, Columbus, Ohio, five bass, 20-3, $826
4th: Harbor Lovin, Fayetteville, Ohio, five bass, 19-12, $429
4th: Aaron Wehmeyer, Odell, Ill., five bass, 19-12, $429
6th: John Murphy, Mooresville, Ind., five bass, 19-9, $563
7th: Brian Ruetz, Toledo, Ohio, five bass, 18-8, $330
8th: Kenneth Lesner, Westland, Mich., five bass, 18-6, $297
9th: Randy Westerfield, Constantine, Mich., five bass, 18-4, $264
10th: John Lovin, Fayetteville, Ohio, five bass, 18-1, $231
Kopczyk also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces, and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $267.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 13-15 Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 50 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.